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2019: Year in Review

As 2019 comes to a close, we take a look back at all the wonderful things we have been able to accomplish in the past year. Over 10 million profiles have been added to the World Family Tree this year, meaning we’ll close out 2019 with nearly 140 million profiles connected to the World Family Tree! This year our team worked hard to provide the Geni community with new and better tools to help build the family tree faster and improve the quality of the World Family Tree.

2019 Year in Review-2

Let’s take a look back at 2019 on Geni:

We started off the year by announcing that a new pedigree view was now available in the HTML version of the tree. This new and improved version of the pedigree view will show you more profile details than ever before in the tree. All year we have continued making improvements to the HTML version of the tree, which will eventually replace the Flash version of the tree in the next year.


2019 also kicked off with the return of a long awaited feature – GEDCOM imports! This was by far our most requested feature since we disabled GEDCOM imports in 2011. To help reduce the number of duplicates introduced to Geni, the new and improved GEDCOM importer imports only a few generations at a time. After the initial import of 5 generations of ancestors, the importer will pause to detect duplicates. If duplicates are found, the user will have to resolve those duplicates before the import will continue. The import will only continue if no more duplicates are detected along a branch.


Geni’s General Manager Mike Stangel held a webinar with Legacy Family Tree webinars on “Advanced Features on” In the webinar, Mike gave an overview of some of the more advanced features on Geni. Watch it for free now!


One of the best parts of being connected to Geni’s World Family Tree is the ability to see how you’re related to anyone else connected to the tree. We made the experience better with multiple relationship path discoveries! You can now see the closest blood relationship path and the closest in-law relationship path between you/focus person and another profile.


We’ve also made adding relationship data to the family tree faster by adding marriage and divorce fields to the edit card. Now when you add new profiles to the tree, you can easily add marriage and divorce information immediately, saving you valuable time while building the family tree.


Lastly, we released a new Consistency Checker to the World Family Tree. The Consistency Checker constantly monitors changes to profiles in the family tree to detect common errors or inconsistencies and bring them to your attention, so you can make the necessary changes to improve the quality and accuracy of the family tree.


Geni made news again with MyHeritage’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Yaniv Erlich, who gave a TEDMED talk, “How We’re Building the World’s Largest Tree.” In his talk, Dr. Erlich shares what he and his team have discovered analyzing data from Geni’s World Family Tree as well as other exciting developments in the world of biomedical research and genealogy. He explains the fascinating patterns that have emerged from his work, including new insights into the last couple of centuries of marriage and migration in Europe and North America, and the role of genes in longevity.

We also had a busy year attending several genealogy conferences across the country. This conference season began with our annual trip to Salt Lake City, Utah for RootsTech, the largest genealogy conference in the world. GeneaVlogger and Geni Curator Jarret Ross stopped by to interview Mike and chat about the history of Geni and what new features would be coming to Geni in the future.


We next headed to Manchester, New Hampshire for the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium and then to St. Charles, Missouri for NGS 2019, where we had many fantastic conversations with new users eager to learn more about connecting to the World Family Tree. In June, we got to celebrate the Southern California Genealogical Society’s 50th Genealogy Jamboree. Afterwards, we traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to attend the 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, followed by a trip to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., for the Federation of Genealogical Society 2019 Family History Conference.


To close out the year’s conferences, we traveled to Amsterdam for the second annual MyHeritage LIVE user conference. Mike gave a well attended presentation, “Using Geni and How it is Different from other Genealogy Platforms” and held a hands-on workshop for attendees.


This year was also a great year for family stories from our users. For our Valentine’s Day giveaway, winner Els-Servaas-Zondervan shared the incredible story about how her mother risked her life to save her father during World War II. Geni user Erik Anderson shared his hilarious short film, “Charlemagne,” and told us how his genealogy journey on Geni helped inspire the film. October’s Family History Month contest inspired user Ian Stone to expand on his answer to the question, “If you could go back in time, which ancestor would you visit and why?” Ian shared the story of his second great aunt Alice and her husband, Horace, and some of the challenges he has experienced research them.

It’s been a wonderful and busy year at Geni and we can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring!

Wishing you all a very happy new year!


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